Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Netflix Studios Files Three Trademark Applications for Potential New Shows

As is often the case when potential new shows are in the works, Netflix Studios, LLC filed three applications to registered the titles of potential new shows as trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this month. The applications filed in April are:
According to the trademark applications, both Another Life and Black Moon will be "dramatic television series" whereas Turn Up Charlie will be an "ongoing comedic drama television series." Netflix Studios, LLC filed all these applications on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting it is not currently using these titles as trademarks in commerce yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future (which makes sense given these shows aren't available for streaming yet). 15 USC 1051(b); TMEP 806.01(b).

In total, Netflix Studios, LLC has filed 11 federal trademark applications in 2018, including the three listed above. The other eight applications were for:
  • PRINCE OF PEORIA (filed January 30th for, in part, an "ongoing comedic drama television series")
  • CHAMBERS (filed January 9th for, in part, an "ongoing dramatic television series")
  • MR. IGLESIAS (filed March 27th for, in part, an "ongoing comedic drama television series")
  • THE FIX (filed February 28th for, in part, an "ongoing unscripted comedic drama television series")
  • THE INNOCENTS (filed February 14th for, in part, an "ongoing dramatic television series")
  • SUPER MONSTERS (filed February 9th, not for a television series but rather for a variety of merchandise, such as clothing, bags, a variety of toys, and video games)
  • EVERYTHING SUCKS! (filed February 7th, also not for a television series but a variety of merchandise)
  • THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES (filed February 6th for a "series of motion pictures" along with a variety of merchandise)
Why no applications for the name of a movie? Because the USPTO will not register the title, or a portion of a title, of a single creative work as a trademark unless it has been used on a series of creative works (think Harry Potter). TMEP 1202.08. Single creative works are generally works "in which the content does not change, whether that work is printed, recorded, or electronic form." TMEP 1202.08(a). Without getting too into the weeds legally, the refusal to register titles to single creative works essentially stems from the fact that the USPTO does not consider the title of a single creative work to identify the source of the work, and therefore it does not function as a trademark (trademarks, by definition, are source indicators). This refusal is sometimes the subject of debate and often differs from the treatment of titles to single creative works by the federal courts, which, in certain circumstances, do tend to protect such titles from confusingly similar uses under Section 43(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 USC 1125(a).

According to my quick search, Netflix Studios, LLC owns 76 active trademark applications or registrations with the USPTO, all of which appear to be related to shows on Netflix (like registrations for THE OA, MINDHUNTER, and STRANGER THINGS).

Monday, April 9, 2018

Asahd Khaled's Company Spends $17,325 to File Applications to Register His Name as a Trademark

Like any proud dad, musical phenom DJ Khaled loves showing off his son, Asahd Tuck Khaled, who is about a year and a half old. Asahd is already so famous that his Instagram account has over 1.8 million followers. And recently, like most celebrity parents, his parents organizing the filing of applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") to register his name, and variants thereof, as trademarks.
On April 4th, ATK Entertainment, Inc. (ed. - short for "Asahd Tuck Khaled"?) filed three federal trademarks applications with the USPTO - one for ASAHD, one for ASAHD KHALED, and one for ASAHD TUCK KHALED. All three applications cover the same, incredibly broad range of goods and services spanning 21 classes. Some of the goods and services covered by these applications include:
  • Fragrances; Perfumes; Cosmetics (Class 3);
  • Baby food; Nutritional supplements (Class 5);
  • DVDs, CDs, and audio and visual sound recordings featuring musical performances (Class 9);
  • Baby teething rings; Pacifiers (Class 10);
  • Baby carriages, baby strollers (Class 12);
  • Jewelry (Class 14);
  • Books in the field of music, motion pictures, and musical performers (Class 16);
  • Handbags (Class 18);
  • A variety of clothing (Class 25);
  • Basketballs, baseballs, footballs (Class 28);
  • Breakfast cereals (Class 30);
  • Online retail store services featuring music, musical recordings, motion pictures, clothing and clothing accessories (Class 35);
  • Entertainment services by a musical artist and producer, namely, musical composition for others and production of musical sound recordings; production of television programs; entertainment services in the nature of ongoing television programs in the field of children's entertainment, fashion, music, dance and sports (Class 41)
Because the USPTO charges filing fees per class, ATK Entertainment paid $5,775 in filing fees per application, or $17,325 total for all three (not including any fees paid to the law firm that filed the applications - Edell, Shapiro & Finnan, LLC in Gaithersburg, Maryland). Those fees top the approximately $12,000 Beyonce paid last June to file applications for the names of her twins.

If you aren't convinced these applications are actually associated with the real Asahd Khaled, below is a written consent signed by Asahd's mother and DJ Khaled's wife - Nicole Tuck - consenting to the use and registration of Asahd's name as a trademark. A written consent was filed for each of the three applications.

The written consent above is required because Section 2(c) of the Trademark Act prohibits the registration of a trademark consisting of or comprising a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual, except with that individual's (or in this case, their guardian's) written consent. Section 2(c) doesn't just apply to full names, but to nicknames, shortened names, pseudonyms, and stage names as well. TMEP 1206.01.

Before Asahd's trademarks can register, ATK Entertainment will need to start using his name as a trademark in conjunction with those goods and services listed in the applications and submit sufficient proof of same to the Trademark Office. In other words, don't be surprised if you see ASAHD cologne, or ASAHD jewelry, in the near future.

According to my quick search, these are the first federal trademark applications filed by ATK Entertainment, Inc.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Vice President Mike Pence's Daughter (and Wife) File Applications to Register Their Rabbit, Marlon Bundo, as a Trademark

Do you know BOTUS? Aka Marlon Bundo, the Bunny of the United States, and the pet of Vice President Mike Pence's daughter? He's now the subject of two federal trademark applications.

On March 29, Charlotte Pence, the Vice President's daughter, and Karen Pence, the Vice President's wife, jointly filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office two trademark applications related to the bunny - one for the drawing seen to the right and another for the words MARLON BUNDO. Both applications cover the same broad range of goods, including:
  • Books in the field of subject matter of interest to children (Class 16);
  • Downloadable electronic books in the field of subject matter of interest to children (Class 9);
  • Downloadable motion pictures and television shows about subject matter of interest to children (Class 9);
  • Prayer books (Class 16);
  • Pet feeding and drinking bowls (Class 21);
  • Educational toys for teaching and testing knowledge relating to the politics, political process, and political history of the United States (Class 28); and
  • Toy animals (Class 28).
The Vice President's wife and daughter filed both application on an intent to use basis, suggesting they are not using these designations as trademarks in conjunction with all the goods listed in the applications, but have a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. 15 USC 1051(b); TMEP 806.01(b). Before these applications can mature into registrations, Charlotte and Karen must start actually using the drawing above and the name MARLON BUNDO in commerce as trademarks and submit sufficient proof of same to the USPTO. TMEP 1103.

The trademark applications follow the release of Charlotte and Karen Pence's new children's book featuring the bunny, entitled "Marlon Bundo's Day in the Life of the Vice President." John Oliver, host of HBO's "Last Week Tonight", parodied the book with his own version shortly after its release.

According to my quick search, these are the first federal trademark applications filed by Charlotte or Karen Pence. To see Marlon for yourself, check out his Instagram page, which now boast over 32,000 followers.